Have you ever been to Branson, Missouri?
Our family loves visiting this town and specifically Silver Dollar City! But there are so many things to see and do in this town. It’s such a family friendly place to bring all ages. So when my husband had time between projects in December to take us on a vacation this destination was a no brainer.
You are probably thinking vacationing in Branson, Missouri? In December?! Brrrr – That’s crazy cold weather talk. Well, well, well… Consider this – shorter lines, deals to be had, amazing Christmas lights, and delicious food.
First off, let me tell you about a great resort to checkout that includes an indoor pool and two giant hot tubs. Welks Resort Branson Hotel is a great family friendly hotel to checkout. The sole reason I chose this place was the heated indoor pool with a waterslide! YEP. And on certain nights a pool view movie screening. Plus, there are snacks and drinks available to purchase or charge to your room. The rooms were nice and clean and we had a nice view of the playground area. If it hadn’t been so cool while we were there we would have tried this out too. While we were there, we had to reserve a time to go to the pool due to COVID restrictions but it wasn’t difficult to reserve a time that worked for us. Another reason it was great to visit in December.
We also did some sightseeing while in Branson including Ripley’s Believe It or Not plus the Super Fun Zone. Both the museum odditorium and the Super Fun Zone were so much fun! I love Ripley’s museums and have been to about 5 or 6 in my years. My husband and I actually stopped at this one in Branson way back when on our honeymoon. They didn’t have the Super Fun Zone back then so we added this on to our ticket and we checked this out.
IT WAS GREAT! We had an all day pass for the outdoor maze and the laser tag and the shooting gallery (which wasn’t very big but was fun). I had never gotten to do laser tag and we had such an AWESOME time as a family with this! I also loved the outdoor maze but got really really lost in it. Our kids made it out first, then they had to go back in and help my husband find his way out and then had to find me and help me get out. LOL If you are looking for an extra stop on your trip, consider this place as well!
So why would we go to Silver Dollar City in December? It’s basically for some of the reasons we’d always love to go but mostly it’s about the lights and decorations throughout the theme park.
Keep reading though for some of our favorite things about getting to visit Silver Dollar City –
We decided to spend Friday at Silver Dollar City instead of Saturday because of the great deal they had going on if you purchased at the window before a certain time it saved us something like $50. This gave us plenty of time to checkout lots of things before the big Christmas parade and lights display. Tickets can cost $75 per person through the summer season. During December, keep and eye out for great discounts depending on what day, what time, and other options when you visit. Even saving just $10 a ticket for a family of 5 makes a big difference.
I love love love the food at Silver Dollar City. We hadn’t eaten lunch just yet when we visited this past December so on the way in we stopped at the bakery just inside the gate turnstiles. It’s just around the first corner on the left and a great place to get coffee nearby as well. I got the cherry Danish. We also bought a couple pretzels and some other treats to eat while we looked around. This is just the first food stop throughout the park to checkout. Anywhere that has the fried curly potatoes is gooood and don’t even get me started on the cast iron skillet meals. YUM!
We also tried out Miss Molly’s Holiday Harvest Buffet for dinner later that night. It was downhome cooking for sure. And it may usually be a buffet but while we were there with COVID restrictions, the food was served family style to our table. We each were given a plate and there were large platters of food delivered to our table. I love family styled dining like this and enjoyed all the decor that harkened to all these different country type decor and also mining stuff like hanging from the ceiling was an actual metal one person elevator car that had been previously used in a cave mine. Pretty cool! It was a bit pricey for our family so be sure to bring your wallet for this dinner.
Another favorite of ours is to visit the candy shop! These sweet ladies(no pun intended) make candy confections as demonstrations. This is a great place to sit and rest if you are getting tired from all the walking throughout the park. Plus, kids are likely to sit still to rest with the promise of picking up some candies in the attached shop.
It’s so neat that throughout Silver Dollar City has so many craftmanship demonstrations throughout the park. From candy making to blacksmithing, there is likely something for just about everyone to get to watch and learn from. I highly suggest checking out Mountain Outfitter’s Knife store. They are so good at their craft they the master craftsman has made amazing knives out of used railroad spikes. You can also watch basket weaving, carving, lye soap, furniture making, candle making and more. Our kids loved the candle shop because they can dip candles the colors they want to choose. It’s super fun to me to check out all of these neat demonstrations learn more about these.
After checking out all the craft demonstrations, you can purchase what you have seen being made. We purchased a railroad spike knife after first seeing them 10 years earlier at a previous visit. There are also shops that have t-shirts, Christmas decorations, toys, and things like Time Traveler gear. We purchased a couple of our family’s Christmas presents while we were in Silver Dollar City and I got my new backpack while we were there for my present as well. Made me sooo happy!
Rollercoasters and Rides
If the weather is still good (aka not completely freezing or at all rainy/snowy) the rollercoasters are still rolling! That’s right… even in December! Our first stop is always Fire In the Hole. I’ve ridden this so many times since I was elementary school and now into my 40s! My husband and I were even on it once with my sister and bro-in-law when the ride stopped, the lights flipped on, and we had to leave through some corridors. The “huge” dropped that I thought were ginormous my entire life? Not so much. LOL Still, even now it still freaks me out and feel like I’m free falling when in actuality not at all. So if you and your kids aren’t so sure about roller coasters, this one is a good bet. Plus, a great one to ride in December since it is indoors. Even if you have to wait in line outside for a little while, you might get lucky and be serenaded by Christmas Carolers like we were. They sang beautifully and this was the first time our kids had ever seen carolers in real life.
PowderKeg, now that’s a different story. It’s terrifying looking! My husband who doesn’t like rollercoasters at all said to me, “What just happened? How did she talk me into riding this?!” In the picture below that’s my ridiculously brave little girl in pink with her Daddy in green beside her about to be flipped upside down and sideways on this crazy fast ride… While this was chilly in December, it was still running and still crazy fast!
We stopped through the farm area and the fireman(kiddie) areas. We rode the barn swing… oh my goodness I wanted to pee my pants ride. And my husband and oldest rode a wagon ride that is meant for little bities but it was the only one my oldest felt comfortable enough to ride. At the same time my youngest son and my daughter rode the fireman’s ride that shoots you straight up a giant pole. Craziness!
And what was the craziest thing? Time Traveler. Ohhh who was the mastermind that designed this psycho twisting and turning ride. Word of warning – it begins with a drop. Nay, a plunge into what feels like 10 stories toward Earth all the while the car you are in is spilling around and around. Then flies back upward in loops or to the top of the tracks while you feel total weightlessness for a couple seconds. Want to feel really like you are floating in outer space? Try this on a clear night. It’s amazing! This is not for the faint of heart and is definitely a bit chilly in December but SO WORTH IT!
The Christmas Shows
There are over 30+ Christmas shows during Silver Dollar City’s “Old Time Christmas.”
And the #1 Reason To Visit Silver Dollar City in December –
The Lights & Christmas Parade
Remember the family style buffet restaurant we ate at? It just so happened that we finished eating and left just as the Christmas light parade was about to start. Perfect timing! The light display throughout the park and parade are THE BEST REASON to checkout Silver Dollar City. The parade has many floats and magical things and of course Santa shows up too!
The light display has over with over 6.5 million twinkling lights! My favorite were the tunnels of lights you can walk through. So magical! And some of the lights were on rotating mechanisms like the giant globe. It’s just beautiful and amazing and magical.
If you ever have a chance to visit Branson in December be sure to visit Silver Dollar City and checkout the amazing lights, Christmas shopping, and shows!
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